While the gains of technology introduced into the Nigerian banking system may be a gain for many, it may not have been so for others who patronise one of Nigeria’s financial institutions which prides of keeping to her words as one of its core values.
Reports emanating from an online investigative platform, SecretsReporters indicates that some Nigerians who patronise Fidelity Bank PLC have lost millions of Naira, while others stand the risk of loosing same simply for keeping faith with the bank.
According to the report, some officials of the bank is engaged in act of defrauding Nigerians of their hard earned money by providing details of customers to scammers and fraudsters.
SecretsReporters cited an instance where a Nigerian who had approached the bank to purchase foreign currency was sold already dollar notes without him knowing until his arrest in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Details of the report reads:
Like flies get attracted to filth so is Fidelity Bank attraction to fraud and anything capable of stealing from their customers. As their name Fidelity implies; they have truly kept to their promise of making their customers life hell by working with syndicates to siphon their money, thus making a mess of internet banking.
On 5th July 2016, A source report authoritatively that Fidelity Bank succeeded in making a Nigerian go to prison when they sold fake $4000 to him in their Ajah Branch.
The businessman Chike Joseph met the shock of his life after boarding a plane from Enugu International Airport and arrived Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, 6th July, 2016 via Ethiopian Airline but was held by airport authorities for being in possession of fake dollars.
He was moved to El-Rashida Police Dubai who proved his innocence when they saw documents of the bank transaction between him and Fidelity but still held him in custody as the bank was nowhere to be found to own up to their scam.
Contrary to news making the round that Heritage Bank is the corporate institution involved in snooking Nigerians of money deposited with them; information available reveals that Fidelity Bank is actually the criminal establishment involved in the multi million fraud. This revelation was made known by the Special Fraud Unit of the Police when they arrested 11 suspected scammers with three of them being Fidelity Bank officials in an investigation that spanned three months.
According to the Police, the bank secretly worked with two MTN officials who have been discovered to be outsourced staff. The telecom staff working on information provided them by Fidelity Bank swapped customers details with new phone numbers.
Making the startling revelation, SFU spokesman, ASP Lawal Audu in their Ikoyi office disclosed that the bank specialized in providing the syndicate account numbers of customers with enough money and into internet banking; where they swap details so as to make the customer unable to receive alerts as they siphon the money during weekends and public holidays.
Over 40 accounts of other banks with different ATM were the destinations the funds are transferred into.
“The effort of the police team eventually paid off when the same group was holding their final meeting at eateries along Bode Thomas Street, Surulere.
Their plan was to defraud another new generation banks between May 26 and 29,’2017. Detectives stormed the venue during which one of the major kingpin claimed to be Alhaji Ismaeel Salami and four members of the syndicate were arrested. Thirty five ATM cards affixed with account numbers and passwords were immediately recovered from them”
The Fidelity Bank staffs alongside the telecom staff made over N150 million engaging in the criminal activities. The suspected bankers arrested by the Police are Oyelade Shola-Isaac, 32, Osuolale Hammid, 40, and Akeem Adesina, 33, while the network service provider employees include Okpetu John, 29, Chukwumnoso Ifeanyi, 30 and Salako Abdulsalam, (ICT specialist), 30.
Other suspects were Ismaeel Salami, 49, Akinola Oghuan, 34, Sarumi Abubakar, 32, James Idagu, 56, and Sunday Okeke, 33. They were all arrested in Lagos, Ibadan and Ilorin. Audu stated that
“It was, however, unveiled that this criminal syndicate usually sourced these bank ATM cards from their owners, especially among the vulnerable youths deceiving them to release their ATM cards, account numbers and passwords for eventual monetary rewards based on the amount their card receive”
The Nigerian Witness Newspaper according to what we gathered contacted MTN who acknowledged the big fraud by Fidelity Bank in a letter to them.
“We wish to point out that the arrest stemmed from MTN’s report of an unusual level of swap activity to the Nigeria Police. This breach was perpetrated by employees of an independent but regulated third-party trade partner who owns and operates the Connect store where the incident took place.
“We are appalled by the situation and condemn it in its entirety. The security and well-being of our customers are of paramount importance, and as such we will continue working at strengthening our governance structures and processes, and will proactively report suspicious activity once it occurs.
We (MTN and all our regulated third-party trade partners) are committed to protecting our existing and potential customers from all present and emerging threats and will continue to work closely with the security agencies to ensure appropriate action when there is evidence of misconduct – as was done in this instance.
“We commend the Nigeria Police Force for their response and handling of this matter and pledge our support to seeing it through to conclusion. MTN remains firmly committed to the highest standards of integrity, ethical behaviour and good corporate citizenship,” MTN told the paper.
Fidelity Bank is among the institutions owned billion of Naira by Etisalat Nigeria. They loaned the now struggling telecom industry $56 million and N17 billion according to This Day Newspaper without tangible collateral to get back their money. When contacted, the bank’s communication head Charles Aigbe didn’t pick his call nor returned it before press time.